Metroplus

I portray angst well: Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor   | Photo Credit: 08dmcArjun

After a break Arjun Kapoor returns with a role which most men don’t want to play – in life and in films

Usually actors do television at the beginning of their careers or when they have achieved everything. Recently, Arjun Kapoor broke that unsaid rule when he decided to host Khatron Ke Khiladi on Colors. “I like to be an exception,” says Arjun in New Delhi to promote the Indian version of Fear Factor. He has been unconventional in many ways but here he has picked television at a time when he is on the cusp of stardom. “I think we underrate television,” argues Arjun. “To promote every film we go to television. Calculation and research shows that one percent of Indian population goes to watch a film to theatre. I would say 70 percent of population owns a television set out of which 50 percent put the television on when they come back home. Therefore, it allows me to connect with 49 percent more people in their houses without spending money. And they get to see a more intimate side of me. So it is a win-win situation to create equity with audience. You might start liking me as a person and would like to watch my next film.”

It seems he is missing out on a particular kind of audience. First he says no, but then goes on to add, “There is a generation that doesn’t go to theatre like housewives are not able to step out. There are some people who cannot watch every film because of age. They might watch only three films in a year. By me being on television I am trying that they make an exception for me.” Perhaps he needs this audience base for his next film on changing gender roles but that is for later.

As a host he didn’t want to play Arjun Kapoor. “I can’t put on a façade every time I go out. I wanted to keep it casual.” The show is all about overcoming your fears and for Arjun one constant fear is that one day he might give up. “I always dread the situation where I end up saying ab mujh se aur nahin hoga. I always want to put up a fight.”

He had overcome weight issues but it seems he is back to the heavier side in a show that is all about fitness. “Things always go beyond the way you look. You got to have an emotional connect with the audience who watch you. Acting sometimes becomes such a cosmetic occupation that everything boils down to how you are looking. But, without taking names, I think if you look at successful actors their looks are seldom discussed after a point. With success everybody starts looking handsome. It is as simple as that.” Having said that Arjun reveals his sharp hair cut that is being noticed in the television series, is actually for Ki & Ka. “I was doing Balki’s film when the channel approached me. They wanted me to retain the look. Balki might feel I have used his look for ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ but as Kabir I have a proper beard,” Arjun muses.

The film is about gender roles that are losing their rigidity in the society. “Every boy grows up trying to be like his father but what if a boy grows up to be like his mother. Kabir is an educated man who wants to run the house. He is a clear-headed man who is not ambitious enough to say that I want to be in the rat race of 9 to 5. He is content and wants to nurture his wife’s ambitions. It is a relevant topic and many men won’t understand it till they watch the film. It is time we start a conversation about it.”

Arjun has seen the implications of a broken relationship from close quarters as he spent a lot of time with his mother when she separated from his father Boney Kapoor. “My mom was not a homemaker per se but she was a very homely person. I never saw her cooking in the kitchen but she took care of the house. And the film stems from the fact that we often take housewives for granted. Man goes to work to earn bread and butter with the confidence that he has somebody to take care of his home. She will pick up the kid from the bus stop, she will pick up vegetables and will keep the dinner ready. His life is taken care off as he pushes to rise in his career. And after 20 years he would say thank you. Is it right?” says Arjun, who learnt to cook for the film. “It is a deep-rooted problem and it would be stupid not to understand the practical side of it. The society also has to get over ladka hokar ghar par baithega kind of mindset and accept couples who are breaking these stereotypes.”

2 States was about a stormy relationship with father, here the character finds connection with his mother. It seems writers are picking pieces from Arjun’s life. “I didn’t have a stormy relationship with my father and that way (Amitabh) Bachchanji ki har film main unhein baap se problem thi. I don’t think it is such a deep-rooted thing. I get roles which have certain angst and I would like to believe that I portray angst well,” he counters. He is quick to add that as Kabir audience will find him a lot more expressive. “Some people say in personal life my sense humour is better than what reflects on screen. Some feel I should do more romantic films. I feel I have tried different things in last three years.”

The discussion shifts to the dangers of overexposure for a young actor. Arjun, who believes in his uncle Anil Kapoor’s actor first, star later philosophy, candidly admits, “Your personal life is not personal anymore. It is available everyday. If I am crying or smiling, you are experiencing me every day. On screen you might or might not connect with the character but you are connecting with me at a personal level every day. It is very strange but Arjun Kapoor, the person, has more connection than, may be, the characters he plays. In an ideal scenario it should be the other way round.” That is why, he points out, one has to take a break. “Something I did post Tevar. Now Kabir will connect a lot more because it is a role that people don’t like to play in real life forget screen.”

Kapoor connection

Ki & Ka will see Arjun opposite Kareena Kapoor. The relationship between the two families goes back to the days when his grandfather Surinder Kapoor used to be the secretary of Geeta Bali. “I remember going to RK house in Chembur as a kid. At that age it was the house where we would get good food and mangoes as Rajji had a huge fascination for haapus so much so that a room was allocated for storing them. I remember Rajji giving me a mango. My father has a photo of it. Apparently, it was a big deal then to get an alphonso from Rajji.

As for Kareena, Arjun says, “It often gets misconstrued but I am a fan of Kareena Kapoor. There is a tremendous amount of respect of what she has achieved.”

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:02:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/i-portray-angst-well-arjun-kapoor/article8203544.ece

Next Story